Resurfaced photo depicts act of inculturation
A picture circulating on social media depicting a priest riding an elephant shackled in chains has caused public outcry.
Many including animal activists have charged that the act is a form of animal cruelty.
The priest said to be Rev Fr Tony Hapuarachchi, is seen carrying a blessed sacrament.
When The Sunday Morning contacted the Bishop’s House, Secretary to the Bishop of Avissawella, Rev. Fr. Ayal Fernando said the incident took place 3 years ago and that it was an act of inculturation.
Fr Hapuarachchi is the former Parish Priest of the St. Francis Xavier Church – Gurugalla, Avissawella.
When asked if churches in the island had any regulation over using elephants for religious ceremonies, Fr. Fernando said there were no regulations as such and that a similar ceremony had taken place in Seeduwa around the same year.